首页  | 张欣

Iron-clad promise? 绝对可靠的承诺

中国日报网 2023-09-14 10:36


Reader question:

Please explain iron-clad promisein this: We offer every customer an iron-clad promise, that all products can be returned for a full refund within 30 daysno questions asked.

My comments:

They promise to give you your money back if youre dissatisfied with any product you buy, so long as you return it within 30 days.

Thats a guarantee.

No questions asked, meaning you dont even have to give a reason why you want to return that thing and ask for your money back.

Iron-clad is a metaphor here, implying as if this promise were covered by a sheet of iron.

Originally, iron-clad refers to battleships that are covered by iron, which makes otherwise wooden ships much stronger.

Many Chinese believe, for example, those iron-clad battleships owned by Western colonial powers were what brought the late Qing government to its knees.

A simplistic point of view, to be sure.

Anyways, metaphorically speaking, if a promise is iron-clad, it is protected and presumably unbreakable.

For greater clarity, lets read a few media examples of things that are iron-clad or ironclad:

1. You told yourself you were doing the smart thing, signing a prenuptial agreement. No, it wasnt romantic. Your future spouse wasnt thrilled. But it was smart because youre a business owner with a lot of assets. You protected yourself and your company.

Now, you just trust the prenup. You feel like divorce is coming, but you dont worry. That paperwork is in place. If your spouse wants to end it, youre ready.

Are you? Is that prenup ironclad, or are there some reasons it may not hold up in court? To be sure, consider these six reasons why prenups are sometimes overturned.

1. For decades, romantics like Peinecke all over the world have been attaching padlocks with personal messages of affection to fences, poles, gates and bridges as representations of their eternal romance.

But like Parisrendition of the tradition, the symbols of amour may not be as ironclad as the love-struck couples may want to believe. Authorities worldwide, oftentimes with a much less sentimental view of the practice, work to remove the locks that can pose a safety hazard or nuisance.

Debbie Peysar, co-founder of a love-lock distribution business based in Utah, said the centuries-old tradition likely started in China, more recently gained momentum in places like Europe and only within the last decade expanded widely to cities across the U.S.

She said her company, Lovelocks, which also works with local agencies to find structures that people can put their locks on legally, has seen tremendous growth recently, specifically since Paris officials announced in spring they would remove the 45 tons of locks affixed to the famed bridge.

Theyre popping up as fast as theyre going down,Peysar said.

Peinecke said he felt the next chapter of his life begin the moment nearly three years ago when he clicked his lock onto a Seattle fence.

He married his girlfriend of 17 years just hours before, and like couples nearly 5,000 miles away at the Seine River, they threw the key over the bridges balcony to represent their new, infinite commitment to each other.

Its forever thats what marriage should be,Peinecke said.

Seattles Department of Transportation typically removes the padlocks whenever residents raise issue with the display. It does not have a record of when they first appeared or how often theyre taken down.

Lindsay Cary, a friend of the Peineckes, said she first noticed the locks popping up next to the bar she tends, The Forge Lounge, about three years ago.

She initiated the newlywedslove-locking ceremony as part of their wedding reception at her pub. According to the Peineckes, their lock is one of the hundreds still on the railing today.

Its an appropriate metaphor for their steadfast matrimony, Peinecke added with a laugh:

Its going to take a torch or a good lawyer to [break] it off.

- Seattle lovers faithful to the padlock tradition, SeattleTimes.com, August 2, 2015.

2. Family gatherings are fascinating experiences. They can be wonderful moments of shared love and joy. They can also tip to the other extreme and result in conflict. But usually everyone makes up again and all ends well.

These gatherings also prompt me to reflect on lifes lessons and can be deeply inspiring to me as an artist.

Earlier this year, my family came together for the Easter holidays. We have a wide spectrum of types in my family, as I am sure you have in yours. It reminds me of Billy Crystals fabulous show 700 Sundays.

Once the folks have settled down and start catching up, I cannot help but notice the different characters.

One grandpa always laments how prices are going up: The price of gas is going up again. It never comes down.Then another grandpa reminds us kidsabout how much he could buy for sixpence. We never had inflation in the good old days,he says. How will we survive the next few years?

Grandma says she cannot understand why kids are so stressed these days. She blames the Internet. Ironically, she checks Facebook while saying this. As if on cue, all the old folkscell phones beep as messages come through. Be careful of hackers,says an uncle. Everyone nods. I cannot help but smile.

One thing always gets me though. My parentsgeneration, or as they remind me, the Greatest Generation, had a fixed idea about retirement. It was that you got a job or career. Worked until 60 and retired on cue. Took your pension and claimed your place under the sun.

This plan was iron clad at one time. My mom explained to me that my dad had this worked out in fine detail. Based on his previous generations, he even had his life expectancy more or less worked out.

Finances would be just right to meet these time periods, too. Much to Dads annoyance, he has exceeded his anticipated lifespan and is still going strong. We like to tease him about this.

The part that saddens me is that so many retirees have retired from life too. It is one thing to retire from formal employment, but quite another to throw in the towel on lifes rich potential. Freedom of choice is well and good, but after a while, life can become boring without a challenge.


3. In a new memoir, Jared Kushner reveals for the first time what was said between he and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch on election night 2020.

Its been no secret that Donald Trumps son-in-law and White House adviser rang Murdoch after Fox NewsDecision Desk called Arizona in favor of Joe Biden, not Trump. But what was said between the two men has until now been pretty opaque.

I dialed Rupert Murdoch and asked why Fox News had made the Arizona call before hundreds of thousands of votes were tallied,Kushner writes in the memoir excerpt published Wednesday by New York Times reporter Kenneth P. Vogel. Rupert said he would look into the issue, and minutes later he called me back.

According to Kushner, Murdoch had looked into if there was anything to be done about his networks Arizona call. He didnt have the news the Trump family wanted to hear.

Sorry, Jared, there is nothing I can do,he said, per Kushner. The Fox News data authority says the numbers are ironcladhe says it wont be close.

As Trump has a penchant for doing when he doesnt get his way, the former president proceeded to lash out at the news network hed long considered an ally, publicly calling out Foxs Decision Desk head Arnon Mishkin as a Clinton-voting, Biden-donating Democrat.

Kushners memoir, Breaking History: A White House Memoir,which will chart his years working in the Trump administration, is due in August.

- Rupert Murdoch Shut Down Trump Family Efforts to Overturn Foxs Election Call: The Numbers Are Ironclad, TheWrap.com, July 28, 2022.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 )


中国日报网 英语点津微信
中国日报网 双语小程序